In the Clearing by J.P. Pomare

In the Clearing

In the Clearing by J.P. Pomare
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.2 MB

A dark, chilling, atmospheric thriller populated with mysterious and wonderfully flawed characters.
Amy has only ever known life in the Clearing.
She knows what’s expected of her.
She knows what to do to please her elders, and how to make sure the community remains happy and calm.
That is, until a new young girl joins the group.
She isn’t fitting in – she doesn’t want to stay.
What happens next will turn life as Amy knows it on its head.
Freya has gone to great lengths to feel like a ‘normal person’.
In fact, if you saw her go about her day with her young son, you’d think she was an everyday mum.
That is, until a young girl goes missing and someone from her past, someone she hasn’t seen for a very long time, arrives in town.
As secrets of the past bubble up to the surface, this small town’s dark secrets will be exposed and lives will be destroyed.

Adrienne told me about the woman who calls herself Freya. She is free, she cares for nothing but her family. Freya has a secret. Adrienne said her secret is so sharp it could cut her. Adrienne wants me to understand something about Freya, but I don’t know what it is yet.

Adrienne knows everything, too. Adrienne makes things happen just by thinking them. I love my mother.

We were ready in the back of the van. I knew the plan by heart, and I could repeat it back to Adam in his words. Our sister was coming home to us. Susan started the engine again as the bus lurched around the bend towards the shelter. I was squeezed in between two of the minders, Tamsin and Indigo. Tamsin is small and wiry; she has strong arms and a mole with a single hair poking out beside her nose. I could smell her sweat. Indigo is shaped like the fridge in the Great Hall but

with rounded shoulders. She was so calm, like she had done this many times before. Tamsin and Indigo were nurses at the hospital where Adam used to work. That was before Adrienne changed their lives.

Adam turned around to face us. I knew he was the same age as Adrienne but he looked older. He had two wrinkles running up from between his eyes when he said, ‘The first impression is the most important. We don’t want the child to fear us. Her caveman instincts will be flight or fight. We cannot calm her down out here and we do not want her to develop any associations with us, negative or otherwise. Not yet.’ He turned back to face the front, still speaking. ‘Capture a child’s trust and you will have its mind.’ I have heard that before at the Clearing. If she didn’t remember us or the collection, the child would simply wake up in her new home as if placed there by the hand of God. Which, now that I think about it, is true.

Her grandfather hurt her. She was my sister, and someone was hurting her, so I had a duty to help. It was my duty to Adrienne and to God.

The bus shuddered to a stop on the side of the road, the door hissed open. The weather was hot and the wind pressed the side of the van. We’re in drought, Adam had told us, and today was hotter than I can remember it being. Sweat trickled down my forehead and into my eyes. I swept it away with the back of my hand. I needed to be able to see the child.

She was big for a seven-year-old; even bigger than Annabelle, who is eight. She shrugged her schoolbag onto her back and started walking up the road towards her house.

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